Christmas in New York City is nothing short of magical. With the Rockefeller Center Christmas Tree, holiday markets and Radio City Rockettes Christmas Spectacular show, there is no shortage of Christmas spirit in the city. Many people make Christmas mass in NYC a family tradition. The spirit of Jesus’ birthday is celebrated with Christmas hymns, readings and hearing the Christmas story.
One of the oldest churches in New York City, the Church of St. Paul the Apostle. It is one of the largest and most monumental religious buildings in Manhattan and was named an official New York City landmark in June 2013. The church is located at the southwest corner of Columbus Ave. and 60th St. in Manhattan and was built in 1875, with construction taking nearly 10 years to complete. Commissioned by the Missionary Society of St. Paul the Apostle, commonly called the Paulist Fathers, it’s a simple Medieval Revival-style design, based on Gothic and Romanesque architecture. Much of the design inspiration came from the fifth-century early Christian basilicas in Italy.
The church is 284 feet long, 121 feet wide and 114 feet tall at the highest point of the towers. The interior boasts elements from famous American artists John LaFarge, Augustus Saint-Gaudens, Lumen Winter, Stanford White and William Laurel Harris. Their combined artworks can be seen throughout the church in its beautiful stained-glass windows, murals and sculptures. The church also contains a world-class organ that has attracted many famous organists throughout the years.
The Church of St. Paul the Apostle was also featured in 2013 in a CBS Christmas special, A New York Christmas to Remember at St. Paul the Apostle. This Christmas Eve broadcast presented lessons and carols at the landmark church featuring the puppetry of the late Jane Henson’s Nativity Story accompanied by the biblical narration of Regis Philbin and musical performances by three choirs.
In order to attend Christmas mass at the Church of St. Paul the Apostle, you need to register for tickets online ahead of time by visiting www.stpaultheapostle.org/christmas/. Please visit the website for times and online streaming information.